[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: POP3 mail fetcher that supports unreliable connections?

On Tue, Nov 04, 2003 at 03:42:40PM -0700, Monique Y. Herman wrote:
> On Tue, 04 Nov 2003 at 21:54 GMT, Vincent Lefevre penned:
> > On 2003-11-04 10:41:10 -0700, Monique Y. Herman wrote:
> >> That's because fetchmail didn't lose the mail; the delivery system
> >> did.
> > 
> > In some sense, yes. But if fetchmail didn't use the delivery system, I
> > wouldn't have lost mail.
> And if I hadn't typed 'rm -rf' in my root directory, I wouldn't have
> lost my system.  In both cases, the behavior is well documented, and in
> both cases, user error can end in disaster.

The purpose of rm is to delete files. The purpose of fetchmail is not to
send my emails to /dev/null. It's not ok for a program to have dangerous
defaults. Nowhere in the fetcmail manpage does it say:
WARNING if your MTA is badly configured there will be MASSIVE LOSSAGE!
If you don't know what an MTA is do not proceed!

> >> You're absolutely right -- a misconfigured MTA is dangerous and can
> >> lose your mail. What does this have to do with fetchmail?
> > 
> > fetchmail uses a MTA, instead of doing the delivery itself (to control
> > everything). If you want an example of a POP3 fetcher that does the
> > delivery itself: getmail.
> fetchmail follows the "unix philosophy" of chaining well-defined
> capabilities so as not to reinvent the (less capable) wheel.  If you
> don't like that approach, then don't use the tool, but don't claim that
> the tool is poorly designed just because you don't like this philosophy
> and furthermore didn't take the time to understand the basics of how the
> tool worked.

There is another important objective: "doing the right thing". It is
simply not acceptable to lose mail. Even if it isn't fetchmail's fault,
fetchmail should be fault-tolerant (deal with a misconfigured mail
system). Fetchmail should scream loudly: your mail system is fubar,
bailing out now! I don't know if this is possible, but I think that
that would help a lot of people.

Bijan Soleymani <bijan@psq.com>

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: